On Monday, a woman posted photos on Facebook of a girl in a grocery store next to a shopping cart getting her hair pulled by an adult. Not surprisingly, the post went viral, and the incident is now under investigation.
Unsurprisingly, Facebook exploded with legions of Monday morning quarterbacking comments on what was right and what was wrong with this scenario.
Here are just a sample of the most off-base comments.
“Spare the rod, spoil the child. That’s the trouble with world today and why so many children are misbehaved brats.”
Why that’s wrong: There is overwhelming evidence that physical punishment is both ineffective and harmful to child development. Additionally, it does not seem likely that the world’s greatest problems, from ISIS to climate change, have resulted from parents giving more timeouts.
“She probably deserved it.”
Why that’s wrong: Every time a story like this comes out, there seem to be people who actively cheer for the child’s punishment. Those who say that we don’t know the context of the father’s behavior are correct, but if we are going to give the father the benefit of the doubt, then the child must receive it as well.
“You know what I had as a kid? A paddle that was made for me with holes drilled into it. You know what it did? Made me a fucking good person today because I was disciplined the way I should of [sic] been.“
Why that’s wrong: Just because something (allegedly) worked for you as a kid does not mean that it works on this child. Not to mention, we are not all necessarily the best judges of our own character. We all probably think we’re f-ing good people today, regardless of whether our parents hit us with a paddle.
“Maybe if more dads were present, and actually raised and disciplined their kids, there wouldn’t so many little assholes running around.”
Why that’s wrong: A physically abusive dad is not better than no dad at all.
“Now imagine the brutal savagery of abortion and how it murders poor innocent babies in the wombs …ALL LIVES MATTER.”
Why that’s wrong: Wildly off topic, and willfully sets aside the plight of the issue the child in question in order to focus on millions of hypothetical unborn children (all the while co-opting a slogan about police brutality.)
“I guess none of you guys have had to stop a child from running out into ongoing traffic and nearly miss. At that point holding their hair in hopes it reminds them to not run off won’t look so bad.”
Why that’s wrong: Hypotheticals aside (“maybe her hair was on fire and he was putting it out”), the images patently show that is not the situation. There’s a major difference between a quick grab to jerk a child out from an intersection versus pulling her by the hair through the grocery store for all to see.
“If you are a good parent your child won’t be a brat. ”
Why that’s wrong: This comment was posted in response to those who said the child must have been acting up and thus deserved it. While this sentiment is more sympathetic toward the child, it’s not accurate. All children are brats sometimes — because they’re tired, they’re hungry, they’re not feeling well or just feeling bratty. Even the gentlest parent ends up with a tiny tyrant on his or her hands some days.